Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Preview of HomeATM's Newly Redesigned Website

Here is a preview of the first two pages of HomeATM's Newly Redesigned Website. Look for it to be up shortly! In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, comments, criticisms, feel free to leave them in the comment box below! Thanks!

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40% of ATM Card Users Hacked in Nigeria - InterSwitch, Banks Helpless!

Nigerians call for scrapping of ATM System

The current upsurge and nefarious activities of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) fraudsters is threatening electronic payment system in the nation's banking sector with users threatening massive dumping of the cards if the unwholesome act is not checked.
An investigation carried out revealed that two of every five ATM card users lately, have become victims of one form of fraud or the other and ironically the sector's regulator, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), service provider, Interswitch, law enforcement agents and banks are helpless as they have not been able to proffer any solution.
Only recently, the CBN admitted that hundreds of millions of naira was lost to ATM-related theft last year alone. Every week, hundreds of bank customers across major cities are finding their deposits or a substantial part of it stolen by faceless crooks. The Special Fraud Unit (SFU) also confirmed recently that ATM fraud is on the increase in Nigeria.

It was also revealed that the activities of the fraudsters cut across all the banks having ATM facilities. Consequently, a some of the users have said the technology should be scrapped if the activities of the scammers cannot be curtailed.

In most of the banks visited, security men that were supposed to watch out for criminals coming into the banking halls now take affected ATM victims through complaints procedures. The queues seen in banks nowadays are that of ATM complainants and in most cases, the issues are never resolved.

The list of affected victims is endless. Mr. Christian Obed, a media practitioner was cash trapped in midst of an assignment and had to rushed to a nearby branch of the bank where his account is domiciled to make withdrawal via the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). To his consternation, his account read zero balance. Further enquiries from the counter did not prove otherwise. He was faced with reality that his hard earned life savings of N154, 000 had gone with the wind courtesy yet to be identified fraudsters.

On her part, a woman who simply gave her name as Mrs Ngozi was caught weeping profusely in front of a bank on Allen Avenue, Ikeja. She had come to make withdrawal at the ATM to send to her daughter in the university who had sent a distress call, but to her surprise, her account had been emptied. Efforts to get the bank officials to answer her had proved abortive.

It is not all about duping, the issues ranged from cards trapped inside the machine to PIN rejection.

It is all tales of woes from duped Nigerians. Many had lost their entire savings to hackers. These fraudulent activities which started like a play has assumed a dangerous dimension, threatening the entire e-payment system in the banking industry and the attendant benefits to the economy.

The ATM technology which was introduced barely three years ago has been beneficial to users until the latest developments. Customers now have access to their accounts at all times. It was indeed one of the key benefits of consolidation in the banking sector.

Continue Reading

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Apple Cracking Down on iTune Gift Card Hacking/Fraud

Apple Cracks Down on Gift Card Fraud - PC World

Apple Cracks Down on Gift Card Fraud - Ginny Mies, PC World

It all seems innocent enough: Someone received an iTunes gift card for their birthday, but they don't have an iPod, so they're selling it on eBay. And to encourage you to snap it up, they're offering the gift card at a price that's $10 or $20 less than its face value. Sounds like too good a deal to pass up, right? Unfortunately, there's a strong possibility that the gift card was bought with a stolen credit card or was hacked (see "Hacked: $200 iTunes Gift Card for Only $2.60"). For a while, people appeared to be using such gift cards without repercussion. But more recently, Apple seems to be quietly mounting a campaign against fraudulent iTunes gift card offenders.

Continue Reading at PC World

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Malware Ridden Tweets Abound

Warnings sounded over phishing and Twitter attacks - Computer Business Review : News

By Kevin White

Malware linked tweets and new stronger Trojans in circulation

Security vendors have moved to alert businesses about the emergence of malware carrying Twitter messages, and the reappearance of a rejuvenated Trojan that is popular with phishers.

Finjan Inc this morning said that it would provide free of charge to users of its Secure Browsing plug-in, access to SecureTwitter as a means of defending against the thousands of Twitter messages that seemingly are now embedded with malicious URLs.

The company claims SecureTwitter scans message tweets and provides look-ahead alerts on the safety of URLs showing in other Web 2.0 sites.

“Reading the recent reports about the proliferation of tweets containing criminal malware, we have taken immediate action to release the SecureTwitter plug-in as a free download to all users,” Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO of Finjan said.

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Credit Card Fraud Grows 4X Faster than Transactions in AU

Card fraud grows four times faster than transactions
Credit card fraud is growing at an exponential rate, last year alone accounting for more than $120 million in bogus transactions.

ADELAIDE: Australian credit card fraud rates grew at four times the rate of the num ber of card transactions during 2008, according to figures contained in a new white paper by information security specialist CQR Consulting.

In the whitepaper, Credit Card Fraud – What You Need to Know, analysis shows that common forms of card fraud accounted for more than $120 million in fraudu lent transactions last year. Fraud caused by counterfeit cards or skimming leapt by more than 50 per cent. The analysis is based on payment fraud statistics published by the Australian Payments Clearing Association.

Australians face two main ways to be cheated by credit card thieves.

The first, counterfeit cards or skimming, occurs when a device is used to scan a card and obtain information hidden in the magnetic stripe. This stripe is then repli cated and used fraudulently. In 2007 the cost of fraud due to counterfeiting/skimming cards was $32.8 million. In 2008 this rose by more than 51 per cent to $49.7 million.

The second, Card Not Present (CNP) fraud, describes transactions where neither the card nor the cardholder is present at the time of transaction. This can include orders by mail, telephone, fax or internet and involves using fraudulently obtained card details to make a purchase. Such details are often gathered through electronic means. The total cost of CNP fraud in 2007 was $53.7 million, rising 33 per cent in 2008 to in excess of $71.5 million.

CQR’s Steve Darrall said the growth in card fraud rates was leading to increased efforts by banks and card brands to reduce their exposure to the activity.

“We’re currently seeing a strong push across the banking industry for merchants that accept card payments to improve their defenses,” he said. “This involves minimising the need for them to hold sensitive cardholder information and securing essential information storage.”

Two key initiatives to improve the security of card transactions and cardholder information are:

• Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) – Developed by the big cred it card brands, the standard applies to all organisations that store, process or transmit cardholder payment data, regardless of their size or transaction numbers; and

• Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) – This standard applies to soft ware applications designed to store, process or transmit payment card information.

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HDFC Bank, RSA Team up Against Online Threats

The Hindu Business Line : HDFC Bank, RSA team up against online threats

HDFC Bank, RSA team up against online threats

MUMBAI: HDFC Bank on Tuesday said it has implemented layered components of the RSA Identity Protection and Verification Suite which would help it provide a comprehensive fraud prevention platform for its online customers.

The implementation has resulted in 60 per cent reduction in phishing attacks, increased customer confidence and acceleration of enhanced online banking features.

“Phishing, pharming and trojan attacks are increasing in India as online banking becomes more popular. Our customers are also aware of these threats, so we needed to ensure we could offer them a secured platform that can protect their personal credential s and financial assets. Customer satisfaction is our top priority and RSA provided us with the necessary balance of online security and user convenience,” HDFC Bank's Chief Information Officer, Mr Anil Jaggia, said.

The bank has deployed RSA's Adaptive Authentication which includes the visible component of site-to-user authentication to provide its customers with convenient online protection through the use of a personal security image and caption to verify the legi timacy of the bank's Web site. - PTI

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Will New Legislation Affect Stock Prices of V/MC?

A quick analysis from SchaeffersResearch.com:

Options Edge: Goldman Sachs Group, FedEx Corp., Visa Inc., and MasterCard Inc.

Analysts are concerned about the potential impact of new legislation on credit card stocks

by Elizabeth Harrow (eharrow@sir-inc.com)
6/23/2009 9:29 AM

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Incorporated

Credit card concerns Visa Inc. and MasterCard Incorporated were the subject of some cautious commentary this morning, as Reuters surveyed Citigroup analyst Donald Fandetti and Cowen & Co. analyst Moshe Katri regarding the potential effects of new legislation on the companies. As Congress moves to regulate interchange rates, both experts believe that Visa and Mastercard could potentially see ill effects on their bottom lines.

Visa and MasterCard themselves do not collect interchange fees, but the concern is that retailers and merchants will now be able to pay lower fees to banks issuing the cards. In turn, some analysts believe, those banks will force Visa and MasterCard to share the pain. "Longer term, I think it is a real risk for the model, but this could impact their stocks right now," commented Fandetti.

Representatives for both credit card companies have dismissed the potential threat of the legislation. Visa and MasterCard have pointed out that Australia previously chopped its interchange fees, and neither company's revenues were adversely impacted. However, warned Katri, "It's an overhang on these stocks, at least until we have some clarity."

V has shrugged off this skepticism in pre-market trading to tick fractionally higher. The shares have collected a gain of 16.8% in 2009, and they're currently positioned above support from their 20-week moving average.

Judging by Visa's open interest configuration, speculators expect the stock to surge another 14.3% by the time July-dated options expire. Peak front-month call open interest of 12,042 contracts lies at the deep out-of-the-money July 70 strike.

As for MA, the equity has added 0.5% ahead of the bell. The stock has recently blazed a path lower, though, breaching support from its 10-week and 20-week moving averages in the process.

Despite this lackluster price action, calls have become the option of choice on MA. The security has racked up an ISE 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.05, with bullish bets more than doubling their bearish counterparts during the past two weeks.

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Western Union Zapped

Finextra: Zain partners Western Union on cross-border mobile money transfer services

Middle East and African mobile telecommunications provider Zain is partnering with Western Union to offer customers of its Zap m-banking service the option of receiving cross-border money transfers to their handsets.  Zap enables Zain customers to interact with bank accounts, top-up or transfer airtime, and move money to businesses, friends and family. The service also allows customers to pay bills such as electricity, and can even be used to settle grocery bills in the supermarket.

The service has been live in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda for several months, with plans for an expansion into 22 markets. Zain is now teaming with Western Union to let Zap customers receive money transfers sent from Western Union agent locations directly to their mobile phone.

Continue Reading at Finextra

Skimming Devices Now Primitive, as Malware Does it Better

This new type of malware, which I posted about yesterday, reportedly needs to be installed inside each "individual" machine. Therefore it suggests an inside job, and it suggests that the malware cannot spread from one ATM to another. Still, it exemplifies the constant evolution of hackers capacity to get increasingly closer to penetrating, what was once thought impenetrable. As the article from PC Authority states below, this type of malware has the capacity to make skimmers and camera's look primitive. Speaking of primitive, remember, NEVER TYPE...SWIPE!

Sneaky malware code can steal bank details at the ATM - News - PC Authority

Covering your PIN code with your hand is no defense against new malware targeting ATMs that has appeared in the Ukraine and Russia, recording card transactions at the machine, including PIN, security number and account details

An ATM based malware script has been discovered with the potential to sit invisible within ATM machines and record all private transactions without detection.

New Scientist is reporting that the malware, hidden as executable code in the ATM framework, is likely to be the work of an inside job at the bank or ATM, because the code needs to be installed inside the actual machine.

The malware is extremely difficult to detect, because it looks like an ordinary piece of ATM code.

According to the report, virus checkers are said to be useless on the malware, as criminal networks have camouflaged the malware within various Windows utilities inside the machine.

Security experts are alarmed at just how easy and brazen the ATM malware is. It has the ability to record customers PIN and their 3-digit security number; a security detail often thought to be one of the last defenses against fraud.

No matter how much a customer may try to cover their hands over their PIN at the ATM, this malware can still steal all account details with relative ease. This scam goes way beyond the typical use of PIN cameras and false keyboards at the cash box.

This kind of malware has the potential to make common skimming practices seem downright ancient. Other unconventional skimming attacks have been looked at in university experiments and in theory, but this is one
of the first times that an attack using malicious code has been found in the public arena.

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